Tunisian Kitchen Essentials
A Tunisian kitchen has to be stocked with a supply of many special tools and equipments that are used to cook Tunisian specialties. Here is guide that delineates the Tunisian kitchen essentials.
A few must have Tunisian kitchen essentials are as follows:
Tunisian food is flavored using many herbs and cooked using a variety of vegetables like garlic, ginger etc. A traditional four-sided tower shaped grater or a flat, handheld type version can be used for obtaining finely grated herbs. To prevent any accidents like avoiding cuts on fingers, one could use the rotary version of the grater instead of the handheld tool. A good grater can help puree garlic quickly and the job is a lot less messy.
A rice cooker is a quintessential tool for a Tunisian kitchen. This absorbs the water from the rice completely and makes sure that the rice does not get overheated due to its automatic power cut-off mechanism. It can also be used for making bread and cake too since the steam can render some really good flavor to the food.
Like all Middle-Eastern countries, Couscous is a staple dish in Tunisia as well. To cook a couscous dish, the tool used is called the quadra wa alkaskas or the couscousiere. It consists of two compartments. The lower compartment called the Burma is used to cook meat and vegetables and the upper compartment called the kesskess is used for cooking couscous. The vapors from the perforated lower compartment are allowed to rise to the upper part. This enables the steaming of couscous. This special kind of boiler is used to prepare couscous in the traditional Tunisian way.
These are specially designed pitchers used to serve beverages like tea, coffee. These are embellished with intricate designs and add a traditional touch to a Tunisian kitchen.
A good quality coffee grinder is a must in a Tunisian kitchen. It can be used to roast and grind spices and to extract the oil and aroma from them. This adds exquisite flavor and aroma to the Tunisian dishes.
Nowadays an essential gadget in all kitchens across the globe, a food processor is one such equipment that can be a boon to cooking in Tunisian kitchen as well. This can help in chopping, mixing, whipping, slicing and many other tasks in the kitchen and make the life of every cook very easy.
Spoons and ladles are a must have for a Tunisian kitchen. It is essential to use ladles that have sufficient capacity to be used for sauces and soups. Also, since a lot of dishes among Tunisian cuisine require stirring, make sure that you have a lot of ladles stacked in your kitchen.
Tagine and Majmar
It is the traditional earthenware in which the food is cooked. The food prepared in this cookware is also referred to as the Tagine. A stew made of lamb or chicken that is simmered for a long time in a shallow pan with a conical lid is an example of a Tagine. The dish is placed on open fire or a bed of charcoals to heat it for prolonged durations. A charcoal brazier made up of terracotta is used to heat up the Tagine. This is called as the Majmar. A point of caution in this case is that one has to prevent the overheating of the cookware resulting in burning the bottom of the dish. This is done by using a heat diffuser. Nowadays these are replaced by stock pots, pans and other non-stick equipments. But for those who like to keep it traditional, these pots should grace the kitchen countertops of their Tunisian kitchen.